There’s no question many consumers appreciate the speed and convenience of ACH payments. Although recurring ACH payments are becoming increasingly popular in certain segments, the majority of shoppers still prefer one-time ACH payments.
But why, exactly?
What Are the Advantages of One-Time ACH Payments?
One-time ACH payments provide users with much greater control over their finances.
Think about a typical consumer who signs up for a subscription-based service like cable television, mobile phone coverage or utility bills. Although payments happen on a regular basis (month after month), the exact amount of each bill varies based on usage. For example:
- This month your electricity bill might be $150. But next month, it falls to $137.
- Because you traveled abroad last week, this month's phone bill will have extra roaming charges that you didn't have the previous month.
Because of these months-to-month changes in spending, many consumers want the ability to inspect their bills before paying them. There may be some invoices with mistakes and extra charges that shouldn't apply.
Another reason why one-time ACH payments are more popular than recurring billing is security (or rather, "perceived" security).
With ACH payments, vendors have direct access to consumers’ bank accounts. While credit card companies often provide fraud protection, banks won't always cover losses in the event of hacking or theft. As a result, some consumers are uncomfortable with the idea of “autopilot” payments if there’s no buffer between vendors and sensitive financial data.
Understand that this is merely a perceived security concern. Whether one-time or recurring, ACH payments represent one of the safest ways to send and receive money. This is especially true when your payment network is built around PCI-compliant data security.
One of the best examples of how safe and reliable recurring ACH payments are is employee payroll (i.e. direct deposit). Although some consumers may feel uncomfortable with the idea of recurring payments (as a shopper), they have no problem with regular paychecks deposited directly into their bank accounts (as employees).
Making One-Time ACH Payments Work for Your Company
As a business, you should consider enabling both types of payments for your customers — recurring and one-time. This ensures that you appeal to the broadest range of preferences possible.
Fortunately, enabling both (or either) is straightforward. Use the free links below to get started: